Shanghai Mapping - A City Where Planning Does Exist | The Plan
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Shanghai Mapping - A City Where Planning Does Exist

Shanghai Mapping - A City Where Planning Does Exist
By Andrea Boschetti -

After a short foray into the United States, looking at Philadelphia and Miami, TheCityPlan now turns once again to the Far East, where after Peking, we now explore another great Chinese city, Shanghai.

Unquestionably the financial capital of China, Shanghai has around 24 million inhabitants, making it the country’s second most populous megalopolis after the administrative capital, Peking.

As usual, our considerations will be based on 5 maps modelled on GIS data. The population map is the key to understanding the others, which look respectively at service provision, geographical features, public transport, and natural greenery. The population map shows that unlike many cities, Shanghai does not have a low-density urban core. Nor is its densely populated urban centre limited to a small central area but rather is a huge swathe with very similar density characteristics. One particular population feature does stand out, however: the considerably lower population density along the banks of the river Huangpu running through the central part of the city. This can be accounted for by the extraordinary concentration of tertiary activities, testifying to Shanghai’s thriving financial sector.

Shanghai’s huge port is to the north where the river flows towards the ocean. In terms of trade flows, it is the world’s most important port.

The infrastructure network resembles a wavy-line grid placed over several important transport axes - some of them overhead constructions - that penetrate the city’s urban fabric and carry through into other districts.

The contour map shows Shanghai to be located on an extensive, completely flat plain. The only slight depressions are around the river and its tributaries.

Service density confirms the single centre characteristic of the city, with service concentration in the historic urban centre. Service provision outside the dense central area follows the...

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